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Complex regional pain syndrome in adults (2nd edition)

These guidelines concern the diagnosis and management of patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). They are designed for professionals working in the different health specialties who care for these patients.

Updated for 2018, the guidelines provide recommendations for diagnosis, treatment and referral in a variety of clinical settings, including:

  • primary care
  • occupational therapy and physiotherapy
  • surgical practice
  • rheumatology
  • neurology and neurosurgery
  • sport and exercise medicine
  • dermatology
  • pain medicine
  • rehabilitation medicine
  • emergency medicine
  • long-term care.

This updated edition replaces the original guidance published in 2012.

Who's involved


These guidelines were developed by a panel of experts with support from, representation and endorsement by:

  • Royal College of General Practitioners
  • Royal College of Physicians
  • Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Royal College of Anaesthetists
  • Royal College of Occupational Therapists
  • British Orthopaedic Association
  • British Pain Society
  • British Psychological Society
  • British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
  • Directorate of Defence Rehabilitation
  • Physiotherapy Pain Association
  • Society of British Neurological Surgeons
  • Royal College of Emergency Medicine
  • British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons
  • Faculty of Occupational Medicine
  • British Society for Surgery of the Hand
  • British Association of Hand Therapists
  • Pain Relief Foundation.

Also supported and endorsed by:

  • Association of Orthopaedic Practitioners
  • Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine
  • College of Podiatry.

With additional support from

  • British Association of Dermatologists
  • British Society for Rheumatology
  • Royal College of Radiologists
  • Vascular Society
  • Association of British Neurologists
  • British Society of Clinical Neurophysiology.

Patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and their relatives contributed to the development process.